Is she good or bad…

March 28, 2017

Mask

Queen of the Night, or Königin der Nacht, is a major character in the Mozart opera called “The Magic Flute” (1791). “The Queen of the Night’s Aria”, “Der Hölle Rache” in act II inspired this drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.

In a fantastical world of ferocious serpents and enchanted musical instruments, a noble prince sets out to rescue a beautiful princess and ensure that truth and justice prevail…

A serpent chases young prince Tamino through a valley. He is rendered unconscious, and three ladies kill the snake. Tamino awakens with the assumption that a good natured bird catcher named Papageno killed the snake. Once Papageno takes credit for heroics of the three ladies, they reappear and padlock his lips to prevent further white lies. The ladies show Tamino a portrait of Pamina, the beautiful daughter of their mistress, the Queen of the Night. He is immediately smitten. The ladies inform Tamino that Pamina has been kidnapped by an evil magician named Sarastro. The Queen appears and asks Tamino to rescue Pamina, and he agrees. The ladies free Papageno and give him a magic set of chimes. They also give Tamino a magic flute and send the two off on their mission. Papageno comes across Pamina who is being seduced by her villain captor named Monostatos. Frightened, Monostatos runs off, leaving Papageno to tell Pamina that her rescuer is close. Three boys lead Tamino through Sarastro’s realm. He tries to enter the three temple doors, but is turned away from the first two. At the third door, a priest greets him and informs him that the Queen is evil and that Sarastro was merely trying to prevent Pamina from getting under her mother’s dark influence.

“Der Hölle Rache” Notecard

 

Poor Butterfly
For she loved him so…

madam-butterfly

Young Ciocio-san awaits Pinkerton’s return from her past as her fathers hara-kiri knife looms before her. Inspired by Madama Butterfly (1904) composed by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), this design is by Meredith Eliassen, 1917.

 

A stormy opening of Aïda

January 18, 2017

aida

Aïda (1871) is the love story of an Egyptian military hero named Radames and a captured Ethiopian princess set during the reign of the pharaohs. Aïda was written by composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) and librettist Antonio Ghislanzoni (1824-1893). Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017. Aida Notecard

Norma (1831) composed by Vincenzo Belini (1801-1835) and based upon the libretto by Felice Romani (1788-1865) tells the epic story of a Druid priestess who breaks her vows and bears two children of a Roman soldier only to discover he has fallen in love with a younger woman. This quintessential bel canto opera was one of the first to be performed in Gold Rush San Francisco.

Norma

Design featuring Celtic motifs from the “Book of Kells” by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

The Trade Wind Opera Company has gathered for a short summer run… in the San Francisco fog.

Susanna

Hint… see the smoke in the fog? Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Susanna has a secret habit… Il segreto di Susanna is an intermezzo in one act by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (1876-1948) with a libretto by Enrico Golisciani (1848-1919) that premiered with a German translation in 1909.

So the Trade Wind Opera Company concludes its first season with this singular Mascagni operetta in three acts is based upon Carlo Lombardo’s operetta La duchessa del Bal Tabarin and Felix Dörmann’s libretto for Majestät Mimi.

Si

Portrait of Si wearing a strand of millefiore “trade wind” beads from the operetta by Pieto Mascagni (1863-1945) and librettist Carlo Lombardo (1869-1959), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016

This design depicts, Si, a woman with the romantic spirit of a nomad, someone who is initially carefree in her romantic life. Inspired by the design concept of the “girl head” or “gypsy” tattoo, Si has a colorful, bold, pretty face with detailed adornments. According to tattoo historians, this form of tattoo design is traced to nomadic gypsies, also known as the Romanis that migrated to Europe.

Stay tuned for more operatic designs…

 

 

 

Turandot by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) is most nearly based upon Turandot by Carlo Gozzi that is in turn based on a story from the 12th-century epic The Seven Beauties by Persian poet Nizami about a princess Turan-Dokht how was the daughter of Turan. Set in China, the Prince Calaf, falls in love with aloof Princess Turandot. In order to obtain permission to marry Turandot, any suitor must solve three riddles correctly, and any wrong answer will result in death. The Calaf passes the test, but Turandot still refuses to marry him. He offers her a way out: if she is able to learn his true identity before the next day dawns, he will sacrifice his own life.

Turandot

Pictured here are Turandot, the Calaf, and his slave Liù. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Turandot, with a libretto by Giuseppe Adami (1878-1946) and Renato Simoni (1875-1952), was unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death in 1924 and was completed by Franco Alfano (1875-1954) two years later. It premiered on April 25, 1926.

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) composed and wrote the libretto for Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg = Tannhäuser and the Singers’ Contest at Wartburg Castle (1845), which is based uponon two German legends that once again focuses on redemption through love.

Tannhauser

Will our protagonist choose mortal love after being seduced by a goddess? Which face with Tannhäuser show? Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

 

Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) is an opera in three acts by the French composer George Bizet (1838-1875) with a libretto by Eugène Cormon (1810-1903) and Michel Carré (1821-1872) that premiered in 1863.

Scan_1

An imaginary seascape for Les pêcheurs de perles set ancient island Ceylon featuring to pearl fishers. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Set ancient island Ceylon, The Peal Fishers is the story of two men who vow eternal friendship, which is threatened by their love for the same woman who is conflicted with her emotions related to secular love and her sacred oath as a priestess.

 

Wagner Tonight

February 24, 2016

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) composed and wrote the libretto for Der fliegende Holländer, which premiered in early 1843. In the story, Senta, the bored daughter of a sea captain spins her own reality about a legendary Dutchman who is cursed.

Dutchman

In Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, the cursed Dutchman cannot seem to escape Senta’s head. Design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016. Flying Dutchman Notecard